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Subject: Unhapiness in the land of Mexica rss

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Terence Martin
British Columbia
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Marisue: 100
Nichole: 67
Eric: 52
Terence: 51

On this particular fateful saturday evening, we got together with some friends from our IRC days (that's Internet Relay Chat for the unfamiliar) Nichole and Eric. Of course, 50% of this grouping was against our better judgement, based on how many games Nichole has won in the past on visits to us. Also she plays a very confrontational game. Eric, having only ever won a single game of Settlers, is always a welcome visitor of course.

After much chatting and eating of spaghetti (in which Nichole, in a gesture of EXTREME EVIL) ate Eric's garlic bread before he could get to it, we settled in for a game of Mexica. This is a game that I fell in love with after a single play. Even so, we haven't played this game a ton or anything, but I'd been thinking recently that it would be fun to give it a go, so we did.

Mexica is a fairly easy game to play and explain, so we quickly ran through the rules. During this time, Nichole managed to take a couple of small naps before moving on to stealing the mexicas from people. As a result she had to ask a bunch of questions on her first turn (she was also selected to go first) about what she could do. Surely a sign of bad things to come.

On her very first turn, she created a district of the largest possible calpulli tile size on the end of the island closest to where she was sitting, but did not have the action points neccesary to get inside it so that she could found it.

The next person to play was Marisue, who gave a quick reminder of how you can't build canals inside a district if it has been founded. She then pointed out how Nichole's district was not currently founded, and put a few canal tiles inside it to shrink it down.

At the time, this seemed frightfully hilarious, and everyone but Nichole had a good laugh.

Eric went next and had a rather interesting strategy that I'd never seen before (although as mentioned we haven't played this game very often). Instead of building any canals or moving he just built a bunch of buildings on various parts of the island, hoping that someone would build around them later.

For my first turn I headed off to the nearest island edge and started laying our some canals to found myself a mighty district.

Back to Nichole, who moved her mexica a bit and then built some canals around it to make a district. Marisue and Eric both did the same thing, building a bunch of buildings all over everywhere, as eric had done the first turn. I finished up the round by completing the district around my mexica and founding it.

And then the game took a rather drastic turn for the worse.

Although a few smallish districts were founded, from this point until the end of the game Nichole's primary focus became to use canal tiles to completely surround every building that was in an unfounded district, so that nobody could gain any points for the first part of the game.

It became clear very fast that the game was going nowhere fast. The supply of canal tiles rapidly dwindled as Nichole built six of them on every turn. I checked the instructions a couple of times to see what the procedure might be for running out of canal tiles, but it's not mentioned in any great detail, since the designer (like everyone but apparently Nichole) didn't think that they would get used up quite that fast.

On her very last turn in the first half of the game, Nichole actually used the last three canal tiles to found a district around her mexica. Everyone else used their action points and extra action chips to jump their mexica's back to the starting point.

And so we scored out the first round. After which, since there were no canal tiles left, we all agreed that it was absolutely impossible to found any more districts, so we just went ahead and scored the second half of the game. In retrospect we probably should have gone around the table a few times just building buildings, but the entire game seemed rather moot at this point.

And so in the end, There were some districts founded on the edge of the island, and a giant whopping unfounded district in the center of the island that was about 60 squares. Only Marisue and Eric had any buildings in it, and due to a lack of Canal tiles Nichole was unable to block them ALL off, so Marisue got the brunt of the points for that and Eric took half.

So, Marisue ended up winning and Nichole managed to come in second. And we learned a valuable lesson in playing a game in which it's possible to screw someone over with someone who makes it their sole mission to screw someone over.
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Joseph Betz
United States
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Actually the first scoring round happens when all the districts have been found and someone has built all their buildings for the first round.Then you would score.If someone uses up all the canal tiles and there are districts left that can't be built then you put those capulli tiles to the side and score when someone has used all their buildings for the first round.Then you would start the second part of the game which would mean you put out the rest of the capulli tiles but since there is no more canal tiles none of them could be built and you would actually finish the game by taking turns and building with the rest of your buildings and whoever gains control of the big 60 point section you mentioned would probably win the game.Also building a building out in the open is usually not a good strategy as someone will usually surrond it with water and it will be worth just one point in the scoring then.
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